Stories for March 2005

Thursday, March 31

Building Recognizes Markstein Gift

The business college under construction at Cal State San Marcos will be named Markstein Hall, in recognition of the $5 million that Ken and Carole Markstein committed to the project.

Aguirre Calls for Audits

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre has called for a unified audit of the 2003 and 2004 financial statements of both the city and city pension plan.

Tysabri News Hurts Biotechs

Shares of Biogen Idec Inc. closed down $3.84 to $34.51, or 10 percent, Thursday following news that another patient using Tysabri, a drug the company developed with Elan Corp., died in December 2003 after taking eight doses of the drug over an 18-month pe

Bar Association Applauds 12

The San Diego County Bar Association has selected 12 recipients of its 2005 Service Awards, which will be given out on May 6 at its annual Law Week luncheon.

Pentagon Inks Predator B Contract

The Air Force has signed a $68.2 million contract with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. to further develop the Predator B variant of its radio-controlled aircraft.

Wednesday, March 30

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Plans Cuts

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. said Wednesday it will cut its work force by about 60 positions or 39 percent after the Food and Drug Administration said the company's lupus treatment drug was not likely to receive accelerated approval.

Intuit Signs 10-Year Lease in Proposed Office Park

Software-maker Intuit Inc. has signed a 10-year lease for space in a yet-to-be-built office park in Carmel Valley.

Stone Comes Late to the Brew Pub Party

Stone Brewing Co. will open a restaurant in its custom-built brewery in Escondido, due for completion this year.

Tuesday, March 29

Google to Buy Urchin

Urchin Software Corp., a Web analytics company that began life as a Web development house in a small room in Solana Beach, announced Monday it has agreed to be acquired by Google Inc.

Hurd to Lead HP

Hewlett-Packard Co. has named Mark Hurd as its chief executive, the company reported Tuesday.

Companies Called Best For Weekend Warriors

Three San Diego County companies have made

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The Banking and Finance newsletter we sent out earlier today did not provide links to the articles on our Web site. Please use the links provided here ... and thanks for reading the San Diego Business Journal online.

Ligand Shares Drop Again

Shares in Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. closed at a new low of $4.98 per share Tuesday, but ticked up in after-hours trading.

Attorney Commits to Change

Eric Alan Isaacson, a partner in the San Diego law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, has been elected president of the San Diego Foundation for Change.

Palomar Technologies Has New Home in North County

Palomar Technologies, Inc., a maker of automated microelectronic assembly equipment, needed larger space to research and build its machines and found what it needed in Carlsbad.

City Attorney Goes After Wal-Mart, Walgreens

Wal-Mart and Walgreens have been socked with hefty penalties for their sales of the illegal AbEnergizer Abdominal Muscle Stimulators, courtesy of the San Diego City Attorney and the district attorneys of Napa and Solano counties.

AMS Tells Shareholders to Expect Loss

Shares of Advanced Marketing Services Inc. fell 17.5 percent to close at $6.11 Tuesday after the company said it expects to report a net loss between 73 cents and 83 cents per share for its 2005 fiscal year.

Monday, March 28

Biggest Home Sales

Top San Diego County home sales ranked by sale price since the start of 2004.

Business Opportunities 'Well Beyond Reconstruction'

The leader of the Virginia-based Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce says opportunities in Afghanistan go well beyond reconstruction.

Mission Valley Condos to Open This Summer

Calling his new project "uptown living at the river's edge," developer Will Pfau said he is hoping to attract the Downtown buyer in search of elegant and comfortable living to Mission Valley.

What Ails California Can Be Cured

What Ails California Can Be Cured

Small Business Spotlight: L7 Creative Communications, Inc.

"I feel we are a different type of agency," said Tom Gallego, president and chief executive officer of L7 Creative Communications, Inc. "We are more creative centric, based around creative horsepower."

Hyatt Plans to Expand Continuing Care Facility

Classic Residence by Hyatt at La Jolla Village plans to break ground on a second 20-story tower at its upscale continuing care retirement community in University Towne Center this summer.

Condoleezza Rice Makes Her Debut on the Asian Stage

Condoleezza Rice Makes Her Debut on the Asian Stage

Small Surfboard Firms Try to Stay Afloat

Staying afloat in the surfing industry can be a challenge, as small companies are being snatched up by larger corporations looking to capitalize on the booming market.

Chinese Imports Take Toll on Apparel Makers

Now that the jeans, T-shirts and socks are arriving from China in record numbers, local apparel makers are puzzling over how to stay in business.

Fee on Taxis, Shuttles at Airport Could Hurt Firms

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is considering a $2 charge on taxis and shuttles at Lindbergh Field. John Hawkins, the president of Cloud 9 Shuttle, calls it a threat to small businesses.

Construction Journal

Construction Journal: Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

Three Californians Aim to Rebuild Their Homeland

Three Californians aim to rebuild their Afghan homeland.

Mexican Community 'Loreto-izes' Buyers

The investment opportunities for North American and Mexican residential developers of luxury property such as Loreto Bay Co. on the Mexican coast are quickly growing, in light of the evolving judicial and investment landscape in Mexico, according to real

Reform Rules to Affect Bankruptcy Attorneys

Los Angeles attorneys who handle personal bankruptcy cases could find themselves squeezed by legislation to overhaul the nation's bankruptcy laws.

UCSD To Acquire Microchip Technology

The Army Research Office and a University of California research institute are jointly buying a complex piece of hardware used in the manufacture of microchips.

Telecom and TV? Engineers Help the Two Mix

As telecom companies become more like cable operators, the people who provide music and TV programming demand security. That's where Irdeto Access comes in.

Package to Entice Stem Cell Panel Worth Millions

Company executives offering free or low-priced goods and services to try to bring the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to San Diego say they're happy to make a financial sacrifice.

Attorneys Ponder What Life Is Like Outside of Law

San Diego lawyers, when asked about other career paths they would choose, offer a variety of responses. A common theme: leaving the grind and the stressful lifestyle.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

Don't Save Social Security, End It

Don't Save Social Security, End It

Development Near Transit Takes New Turn

Despite the increase in rail passengers and the more than 100 miles of rail and trolley lines throughout the county, there has been little transit-oriented development, a concept many planners believe can likely ease traffic congestion and provided needed

Executive Profile: Larry Maxham

Larry Maxham, founder of the San Diego-based Maxham Firm, considers himself a "throwback" in the legal profession because he specializes in both patent and trademark law.

Newly Enacted Laws Help Lenders in Mexico

John McNeece is in the final stages of a book on secured transactions under Mexican law, which addresses the laws related to housing finance in that country, among other topics.

Progress Report

Progress Report: Sales and Leases

Sale of Biltmore Hotel Could Be a Record-Setter

The Millennium Biltmore, considered the grande dame of Los Angeles hotels, has been put on the market for about $500 million, according to sources with knowledge of the listing, in what would be a record-setting price for a Los Angeles hotel property.

Resources for Investors in Afghanistan

Resources for investors in Afghanistan are as close as the Internet.


Weeping for Club Owner

Downtown Omni Hotel Prepares for Another Big Season

As the nation's only lodging facility connected by a skywalk to a major league sports stadium, the 511-room The Omni San Diego hotel drew far more out-of-town guests and local Padres fans during the 2004 baseball season than expected.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: George Gramm

Crossing the Afghanistan Border

Numerous small companies several from Southern California and at least one from San Diego are slowly carving a niche in Afghanistan's industries.

Prime Property

Several U.S. banking institutions are ramping up their lending programs to serve the growing demand among U.S. citizens to invest in residential real estate in Mexico.

Show Out of Left Field May Appeal to Padre Fans

Troy Johnson will host a new live TV show, "Outta Left Field," a high-energy interactive sports talk show set to premiere on Cox Communications Channel 4 on April 7, before the Padres' 2005 season home opener.

San Diego Exec Hopes To Shed Light on Energy Issues in Afghanistan

From his corner office at the San Diego location of United Solar Ovonic, Qudrat Delawari casts an eye toward reconstructing his native country of Afghanistan.

Best Prospects for U.S. Suppliers

U.S. suppliers can find various opportunities in Afghanistan. A primary consideration is whether a business wants short-term or long-term work.

Stem Cell Institute May Boost Local Economy

If San Diego is chosen as the permanent headquarters for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, expectations are high that the institute will benefit the local economy, bolster the area's scientific work force and help to ensure that San Dieg

Recruiting Chief Executives Is an Inexact Science

Conducting executive searches is not like completing a quarterly report: It's a lot less precise. "Recruiting is a science and an art," said Caroline Nahas, the managing director of Korn/Ferry International's Southern California operation.

Luxtera Reaches for Inexpensive Light-Wave Chip

Luxtera Inc., a small Carlsbad company with $24 million in venture capital, announced Monday it has produced a novel prototype microchip that is able to convert electrical impulses to light waves, and vice versa.

Leaving the Business Affects Four Parties

Question: I'm planning to retire in a couple of years. My employees are great, and I'd like to be sure that they have jobs once I retire. I have no children who can take over. So what can I do?

If Harley Is Hurtin', Fix Your Hog By Yourself

San Diego-based Fix My Hog, Inc. has released its second motorcycle maintenance DVD for owners of all brands of Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycles.

Friday, March 25

Chamber to Delve Into City Hall Woes

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has decided to weigh in on the policies and politics at San Diego City Hall, announcing it is going to study and speak out on certain political issues in the next few months.

Biocom Announces New Board Members

Biocom, the local biotechnology industry association, has named Jack Leif the chairman of its board. Leif is chief executive of Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Thursday, March 24

District Attorney Reviews Pension Trouble

The District Attorney's Office has launched a criminal investigation into the city of San Diego's pension system and its 13-member board of trustees, according to published reports.

HEI Buys Hilton Mission Valley

The Hilton Mission Valley Hotel has been sold for an undisclosed price to one of the country's fastest-growing hotel owners, Norwalk, Conn.-based HEI Hospitality.

Holiday Bowl Generates Nearly $20M in Spending

The 2004 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl generated direct visitor spending of $19.8 million, a record amount, according to a study by San Diego State University's Center for Hospitality and Tourism Research.

More Sorrento Mesa Space Trades Hands

Arden Realty, Inc., a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust, acquired the Sorrento Mesa Corporate Center office complex for $185 million.

Real Estate Firm Seeks Elbow Room in North County

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage broke ground on a 6,000-square-foot new office on Vista Village Drive in Vista.

Northrop Grumman Expanding Again

Northrop Grumman Corp. signed a 36-month sublease valued at $5.3 million for a 108,290-square-foot building in Rancho Bernardo.

Wednesday, March 23

Industries Converge Near Mexican Border

Three leases valued at $1.9 million were signed in the Brown Field Distribution Facility, a 67,000-square-foot multi-tenant industrial project, on Otay Mesa Road in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego.

Nassco Halfway Through Tanker Project

The oil tanker Alaskan Explorer will leave San Diego Bay for Valdez, Alaska, next week following its completion by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Co.

Sola Sale Complete

Sola International Inc., an eyeglass lens manufacturer with its headquarters in San Diego, has ceased to exist as an independent, publicly traded company.

Tuesday, March 22

Santarus Posts Loss for Year

Santarus, Inc. closed out 2004 with a net loss of $82.6 million.

Analex to Acquire ComGlobal

Analex Corp. of Alexandria, Va., announced March 22 that it will buy San Diego-based ComGlobal Systems, Inc. for $47 million in cash.

Fortune 500 Company Buying Reef

Greensboro, N.C.-based VF Corp. plans to acquire Kearny Mesa-based Reef Holdings Corp. for an undisclosed sum. The seller is an investor group led by Swander Pace Capital of San Francisco.

Monday, March 21

Eminent Domain Is More Than A Land Grab

Eminent Domain Is More Than A Land Grab

Accountants in Demand, Says Temp Agency

Some 12 percent of chief financial officers in the San Diego area expect to hire accounting and finance professionals during the second quarter of 2005, according to Robert Half International.

ConVis Makes Case To Leave Funds Alone

While San Diego City Hall looks for more ways to cut down on spending, the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, which relies on a municipal supplement, has asked simply to be spared the ax.

Solar Savings

Though it has taken time, more people are looking at solar energy as an alternative to traditional energy sources.

Jobless Rate Stands at 4.6 Percent

The unemployment rate in San Diego County was 4.6 percent in February, unchanged from January, according to the state's Employment Development Department.

UCSD's Cancer Center Is Finally Ready to Open

On April 8, UCSD's vision of a new comprehensive cancer center will finally become a reality after eight years of planning.

The Truth Takes a Hit

The Truth Takes a Hit

Bankers Target August to Open Coronado 1st Bank

After a two-decade hiatus, Tom Stickel is returning to the banking business. Stickel's name is familiar both in local finance and in politics.

Chamber Plans to Address Rising Gas Prices

A statewide policy to boost oil refinery output is among a half-dozen solutions proposed by a San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce subcommittee.

Billions of Dollars Later, Downtown Is a Diamond

Three leaders of the Centre City Development Corp. mull Downtown's past, and future.

San Diego's Condo Conversion Debate Intensifies

Even as the condominium conversion market is beginning to cool off, the debate over whether converters should have free rein over San Diego's already-tight affordable rental apartment market is just getting under way.

Small Business Spotlight: Designed Internet Solutions

Across the nation, 500 businesses depend on Chula Vista-based Designed Internet Solutions, a developer of Internet applications and Web sites, to provide them with sophisticated Web sites.

Fraud a New Concern for Online Advertisers

Click fraud, as it is commonly known, is the practice of skewing pay-per-click advertising data by generating illegitimate hits in an effort to increase advertisers' costs.

Pump Pinches the Bottom Line

San Diego's sky-high gas prices are impacting the entire fuel food chain, leaving local businesses struggling to fend off a domino effect that is threatening their bottom lines.

Marketing Can Help Businesses Hit the Mark

Question: How can a business get the most value from its marketing budget?

S.D. Builds Case as Stem Cell Hub

A May 6 decision by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine could make 11025 N. Torrey Pines Place the statewide center for stem cell research.

LG Looks to San Diego for Tech Direction, Style Pointers

LG, the South Korean manufacturer of electronics and appliances, has been quietly setting up a mobile phone research-and-development center in San Diego.

Nightclub Looks to Create New Buzz in Gaslamp

James Brennan and his partners are transforming an 87-year-old former produce warehouse into a 23,000-square-foot, two-story nightclub that will be named the Stingaree.

New IT Deal On Horizon For County

Before the year is over, San Diego County is expected to award a new information technology contract to follow the seven-year, $644 million deal secured by the Pennant Alliance in 1999.

Local Bank Uses Dutch Auction for IPO

San Diego's BofI Holding, the parent firm of Bank of Internet USA, raised nearly $33 million , about $10 million more than it originally expected , using the Dutch auction method for its initial public offering.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

S.D. Is California's Top Market for Solar Energy

As the interest in solar energy systems rises across the county, the supply of solar energy panels, which are the basic building block of these systems, has dropped significantly.

Dollar Could Be in Deep Trouble if Asia Diversifies

Dollar Could Be in Deep Trouble if Asia Diversifies

Attorneys Make Time to Promote Important Causes

It's amazing that lawyers have any time left over for extracurricular activities. But many of them manage civic pursuits.

Inamed Deal Reached With San Diego Legal Help

The San Diego office of Morrison & Foerster LLP represented Santa Barbara-based Inamed Corp. in a $2.8 billion merger with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Chargers to Kick Off Season on New Radio Home

The San Diego Chargers will now be heard exclusively on San Diego Clear Channel Communications station KIOZ-FM 105.3.

Executive Profile: Jonathan Morris

Jonathan Morris' background as a trauma surgeon probably prepared him well for the many struggles as chief executive officer of Prosanos Corp.

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

Auto Repair Shops Shuttered

A local judge has temporarily closed a trio of San Diego auto repair shops. San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert T. Harutunian III ordered On Time Smog and Auto Repair closed by 5 p.m. on March 18.

Vacationers Will Visit, But at a Higher Price

Summer visitors may find themselves forking out more to stay in hotels, dine at restaurants, or even to shuttle from the airport to their hotel if gas prices continue an upward trend, as many fear.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Patricia Haulley

Friday, March 18

Online Job Board Acquired of San Diego has agreed to be acquired by LLC of Phoenix for an undisclosed price.

Storm Damage Assistance Available

San Diego County business owners, homeowners and renters will be eligible for financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for storm damage occurring from Dec. 27 through Jan. 11.

Earnings Delayed at Ligand, Maxwell

Shares in Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. were trading in the $8 range at midday March 18, the day after the company announced it needs additional time to file its annual report and release earnings.

Thursday, March 17

DJ Pushes into New England

DJ Orthopedics, the Vista-based maker of braces and other rehabilitation products, acquired the assets of Superior Medical Equipment.

Pedestrian Bridge in Roads Bill

A pedestrian bridge for Downtown San Diego, which would provide safe access over Harbor Drive between the Convention Center and the ballpark district, is one step closer to getting $1 million in federal funds.

Mayor: Living Wage Proposal Is 'Bad Policy'

Mayor Dick Murphy, in a memo March 16 to four City Council members, labeled the proposed living wage ordinance "bad policy at a bad time," but agreed to schedule it for consideration April 12.

Real Estate Survey Spotlights Luce Forward Partner

Brian C. Fish, partner and member of the real estate practice group of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP, has been recognized by

Many Employers Have Hiring on Their Minds

Local employers were evenly split among those planning to increase their work staffs, and those keeping the staffs about the same size, according to a recent survey conducted by the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

Kaiser Among Nominees for Pinnacle

AnneMarie Kaiser, a partner in Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear's San Diego office, has been nominated for a UC San Diego Athena Pinnacle Award for her outstanding contributions to San Diego's technology sector.

Wednesday, March 16

Morey, of Surf Fame, Headed for Oceanside

Tom Morey, a 30-year veteran in the surf industry, is relocating his surfboard manufacturing company to North County.

Bank of Internet Goes Public

San Diego's BofI Holding, parent firm of Bank of Internet USA, raised nearly $33 million or about $10 million more than it originally expected using the Dutch auction method on its initial public offering March 15.

Site Near UCSD Proposed For California Stem Cell Center

San Diego leaders on March 16 submitted their proposal to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, naming a building that could serve as the headquarters for the $3 billion stem cell research institute.

LG Opens San Diego Research Center

LG, the South Korean manufacturer of electronics and appliances, has been quietly setting up a mobile phone research-and-development center in San Diego.

Bush Taps Eight for BRAC Commission

President Bush on March 15 nominated eight people to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which will pass judgment on the value of military bases nationwide, including those that make up San Diego's military complex.

FDA Approves Amylin Diabetes Drug

Amylin Pharmaceuticals announced March 16 that its diabetes drug Symlin was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Tuesday, March 15

Mayor's Slate to Be Seated on Retirement Board

The San Diego City Council on March 14 approved Mayor Dick Murphy's seven appointments to the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System Board of Administration.

Time Warner Moving to Hughes Network Systems Building

The San Diego office of LBA Realty acquired a 134,000-square-foot office and research-and-development building for $17.9 million at 10450 Pacific Center Court in Sorrento Mesa.

Route 905 Ramps Open

The northbound freeway on ramp and off ramp for state Route 905 and the Siempre Viva Road interchange have been opened to traffic.

SAIC Finalizes Telcordia Sale

Science Applications International Corp. closed its $1.35 billion sale of Telcordia Technologies to Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus on March 15.

Median Home Price Hits $472,000

Although the median price of a home in San Diego County continued to increase last month, the rate of increase was the lowest of all counties in Southern California.

Leap Transactions Provide for Roaming

Locally based telecom carrier Leap Wireless International Inc. is shaking off cell towers and portions of its radio spectrum, but it is adding something new for customers: roaming.

Sports Arena Naming Rights Sold

The San Diego Sports Arena has changed its name to the ipayOne Center following approval by the San Diego City Council on March 14.

Monday, March 14

Cable Firms Launch Assault to Draw Phone Users

The San Diego market for telephone services is increasingly becoming more competitive as cable and phone companies alike scramble to gain a foothold.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: Robert E. Zolezzi

Executive Profile: David Sheehan

David Sheehan is set on moving his company forward , even if by some accounts Digirad has already come quite far.

Firms Realize Importance of Upgrading

In San Diego County, 33 percent of small businesses that upgraded or purchased new equipment spent more than $10,000 each in 2004 on purchasing and upgrading technology.

Creative Law

Headhunters are circling and law firms are in a feeding frenzy, caught up in a merry-go-round of merging and raiding, all to grab a piece of the increasingly lucrative intellectual property market in San Diego.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

Telecom in a Local Growth Spurt

San Diego's telecom industry is focused much more on designing and developing, and much less on manufacturing.

Direct Writers Pen New Chapter in Work-Comp Saga

As alternatives to traditional workers' comp insurance arrangements, direct writers such as Agoura Hills-based Employers Direct Insurance Co. are gaining in popularity among some employers.


Respect the Power of the Fed

Cisco Systems Executive to Lead San Diego's AMCC

Applied Micro Circuits Corp., the San Diego-based maker of high-speed chips used in communication networks, named Kambiz Hooshmand, 43, as its new chief executive officer and president.

Bankers Find New Home in Coronado

Another new bank is under organization in Coronado and is headed by Tom Stickel, a longtime financial executive, and Bruce Ives, former chief executive officer of Cuyamaca Bank in Santee.

Educational Flier, Airport Panel Come Under Fire

A newspaper insert and an opinion poll that both focus on the cramped conditions at Lindbergh Field have prompted criticism by a pair of self-proclaimed tax watchdogs.

Happy Families Make for Less-Stressed Workers

Corporate America and the U.S. government could both add to their bottom lines by recognizing the importance of family-work balance, as well as all the unsung caretakers who keep the machinery running. That is the message of professor Martha Albertson Fin

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

SEC Looks to Remodel New SOX 404 Agreement

The outcry about excessive auditing costs related to the internal controls reporting section of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has apparently reached Washington, D.C.

Conference to Focus on Biotech Industry

The 12th annual Biocom life science conference March 22 will have a program focusing on burning local issues, like venture capital funding, bioterrorism, stem cell research, partnerships, future technologies and Medicare reimbursement.

Small Business Spotlight: Healthy Times

A cookie Rondi Prescott invented in 1980 became the basis for her teething biscuits, which now sell for $2 apiece retail worldwide.

Saying Goodbye to an International Leader

Saying goodbye to an international leader.

Employers Plan to Hire in April-June Quarter

Thirty-nine percent of San Diego employers surveyed by Manpower say they intend to hire more staff during the second quarter, while 57 percent say they don't plan any changes.

Partners Make Money By Dispensing It at ATMs

Servicing automated teller machines is a good deal for this duo.

Old Town's New Look Puts Powers In the Past

Diane Powers says she made up her mind three weeks ago to give up her nearly yearlong fight to overturn the state's decision to award the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park's concession to Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts.

Businesses Prepared for Year's Most Taxing Time

National franchises and smaller operations are seeing increased business these days as more individuals and businesses seek professional help for tax preparation.

For Wireless, a Big Week in the Big Easy

San Diego companies dealing in wireless telecom unleashed a torrent of announcements March 14 as the CTIA Wireless conference opened in New Orleans.

Deejay Duo Gets Morning Drive-Time Slot

Duncan & Mel, the afternoon drive-time team at KYMI-FM 94.1, have officially made the move to the morning.

President Is Delivering for Small Business

President Bush's agenda creates an environment for small businesses to flourish.

Sales Office Opening for S.D. Residential Tower

With two years to go until its expected completion, San Diego's future tallest residential tower was scheduled to open its sales office this past weekend to interested homeowners.

Generation Next for Qualcomm

Generation Next for Qualcomm

Security Through Software

Called Tactical Survey, the software system installed this month at the airport is intended to give emergency responders a huge edge when dealing with a possible critical incident such as an aircraft crash, a bomb threat or a hostage situation.

More Advice for Executives on Letting Go

Question: I've heard the terms ambassadors and governors when referring to exit strategies for chief executives. Can you please expand on those terms?

Moon Rising Over the Ex-Sammy Studios Office

The Carlsbad game-development house formerly known as Sammy Studios is now High Moon Studios, Inc. after an investor group led by studio head John R. Rowe purchased the company.

Drug Chain Begins Delivery Service

Longs Drug Stores has picked San Diego as the first large market to roll out a prescription delivery program on a wide scale.

House Approves Freeway Funds

The transportation bill that passed the House of Representatives recently promises million in transportation funds for San Diego County. The bill must still pass the Senate.

Remec Sells Part of Wireless Systems Business

Santa Ana-based Powerwave Technologies Inc., a maker of amplifiers for wireless networks, is paying $118 million in stock and cash for products and plants from Del Mar-based Remec Inc.

Vista Store Helps Make eBay More User-Friendly

Vista-based 24/7 Auctions is North County's first eBay consignment store. The most unusual item it has handled so far? A mounted buffalo head.

Qualcomm Turns to the Family Plan

Qualcomm Inc. announced what many in San Diego's business community had expected , that 42-year-old Paul E. Jacobs will succeed his father, Irwin M. Jacobs, as chief executive officer.

Blind Mice Finds Sales Everywhere

San Diego-based 3 Blind Mice Window Coverings has experienced amazing growth, thanks to the real estate, condo conversion and remodeling industries which are in need of its services.

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

County Hoteliers Weathering the Winter Months

Who said it never rains in Southern California? It has poured throughout the region for most of the winter and took a toll on the county's lodging industry.

Friday, March 11

Housing Affordability Index Doesn't Budge

The percentage of households in San Diego able to afford a median-priced home in January remained at 11 percent, placing San Diego among the least affordable counties in the state.

Retirement Board Chess Match Has City Hall and Citizens Talking

San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye on March 10 nominated Diann Shipione to remain on the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System board. The San Diego City Council is scheduled to consider nominees at its March 14 meeting,

Coronado 1st Bank Begins Organizing

Tom Stickel, a longtime San Diego financial executive, and Bruce Ives, former CEO of Cuyamaca Bank in Santee, head up a new community bank in Coronado that hopes to open for business in July.

Copley Gives $2M For Central Library

David C. Copley, chief executive officer of Copley Press Inc. and publisher of the

Clear Channel to Broadcast Chargers

The San Diego Chargers' football games will now be exclusively heard on San Diego Clear Channel Communications station KIOZ-FM 105.3.

City Lawsuits Delayed and Dropped

San Diego Superior Court Judge Jeffrey B. Barton granted a 120-day stay requested by San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre on a lawsuit brought by the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System Board.

Thursday, March 10

Vical Wins $3.1M Government Grant

San Diego-based biotechnology company Vical Inc. announced March 10 it won a three-year, $3.1 million government grant to fund further development of its experimental vaccine to treat cytomegalovirus disease.

Port Commissioner Bows Out

San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy on March 9 accepted the resignation of Kourosh Hangafarin, the newly appointed Port commissioner who signed an unauthorized trade agreement with a Cuban food agency last month.

Buy? Sell? Brokerage Breaks Down Real Estate Markets

A survey released March 9 categorized the San Diego industrial property market and multifamily property market as "sell" markets and the San Diego retail property market as a "buy."

Scripps Research Institute Acquires Building

The Scripps Research Institute acquired a cellular research facility for approximately $30 million in cash at its main campus in La Jolla.

Venture Funding Secured Locally

The San Diego office of Morrison & Foerster in the last three months has worked with companies and investors in Southern California in raising millions in venture capital financing, according to a company spokeswoman.

Novalar Closes $27M Funding Round

San Diego-based specialty pharmaceutical firm Novalar Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced March 10 that it closed a $27 million third round of financing.

Petco Has $1.8 Billion Year

Petco Animal Supplies reported fourth quarter net income of $27.6 million on revenues of $492.3 million for the period ended Jan. 31.

Cisco VP to Lead AMCC

Applied Micro Circuits Corp., the San Diego-based maker of high-speed chips used in communication networks, named Kambiz Hooshmand, 43, as its new chief executive officer and president.

Heller Ehrman Picks Up Paul Hastings Shareholders

Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP announced the addition of three intellectual property shareholders to the firm's San Diego office all of them from Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker.

Protemix on Its Way to San Diego

The co-founder of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Garth Cooper, wants to bring his new venture, a New Zealand-based diabetes drug company, to San Diego by the end of June.

Wednesday, March 9

City Sets Up Audit Committee

The San Diego City Council designated a new audit committee to work with federal investigators and its outside auditor, KPMG, to complete a review of a previously completed investigation into the city's financial reporting for fiscal 2003.

Cushman Takes Reins at Holiday Bowl

Stephen Cushman, president of Cush Automotive Group, was named president of the 2005 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, San Diego's annual football bowl game.

BAE May Become Bigger San Diego Player

San Diego's sixth-largest defense employer is poised to get bigger.

Otay Mesa Buildings Change Hands

In Otay Mesa, where the industrial property market is strong and industrial vacancy rates have slid into single digits, two buildings were sold for nearly $5 million.

City Atty. Backs Away From Signing Letter

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre said on March 9 that he's all in favor of fostering a cooperative spirit at City Hall, but he's not about to "be painted into a corner."

Tuesday, March 8

Qualcomm Succession Plan All in the Family

Paul E. Jacobs will succeed his father, Irwin M. Jacobs, as chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc., effective July 1.

Confidence Index Falls Slightly

CEOs from small and midsized businesses see the nation's economy slowing down for the rest of this year, but are still anticipating higher sales and profits compared with last year, according to a survey released by San Diego-based TEC International.

Aguirre Pledges Background Checks on Nominees

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre on March 8 said that he will begin providing background reviews of city nominees to major boards and commissions.

Sempra's Louisiana Project Piques Eni's Interest

Sempra LNG, a unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, has signed a nonbinding agreement providing Eni SpA with about one-third of the capacity of Sempra's Cameron LNG receipt terminal under development near Lake Charles, La.

Monday, March 7

Economy Sheds Seasonal Jobs

San Diego's relatively low unemployment rate shot up to 4.6 percent in January from 4.1 percent in December, as the area's payrolls shrunk by nearly 19,000 jobs, according to the Employment Development Department.

'Retiring Heroes' Find It Difficult to Let Go

Question: My father owns a business and is looking to pass the business on to me, but is struggling with letting the business go into my hands. Is this normal?

Executive Profile: Robert A. McNeely

Robert A. McNeely has executive roles with Union Bank of California, and sits on the board of the Centre City Development Corp.

Concessions Switch to New Firm in Old Town

A legal battle over who has the right to operate a cluster of restaurants and retail shops at Old Town State Historic Park ended when the local company that had run the operation for the past 34 years agreed last week to give up its nearly yearlong fight.

Qualcomm Shares Spike 5 Percent

Shares in wireless tech company Qualcomm Inc. rose 5 percent March 7 after the company raised its quarterly earnings forecast.

Workers' Diet, Exercise Can Reduce Firms' Costs

According to the California Nutrition Network, unhealthy eating and a lack of physical activity cost the U.S. economy $117 billion and California as much as $26.4 billion yearly.

Small Business Spotlight: Clean Power Resources, Inc.

Dennis Gowey, president of Clean Power Resources, Inc.

Agency to Help City Pay for Sewer Upgrades

The cities and special districts that use the city of San Diego's sewer system have decided to work with the city in its interim financing of sewer projects.

EPIC Approach Taken to Finding Energy Solutions

The Energy Policy Initiative Center has three goals: education, research and advocacy in energy.

EPA Honors Utility

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. has been honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Education 2005 Award.

S.D.'s Chicken of the Sea Intensifies Ad Campaign

Chicken of the Sea launched phase two of its aggressive marketing, business and brand strategy, with costs for the campaign totaling $20 million.

Port Seeks Terminal Solution

If the San Diego Unified Port District succeeds in attracting private financing for a packaged development project that includes a new cruise ship terminal, it could be the second such deal in the country.

Some Media Pros Step Away From Spotlight

The disappearance of San Diego media professionals from the limelight isn't the result of early retirement or an abrupt firing, but merely the transition into working behind the scenes.

Full Penalty Could Have Wiped Out Titan

The record $28.5 million fine Titan Corp. agreed to pay the federal government in connection with admitted violations of bribery laws could have been much worse.

S.D. Housing Slowdown Won't Last, Some Say

The relative slowdown in San Diego County's residential real estate market that began in the fall has prompted many economists to temper their expectations for continued huge increases in home prices during the next 12 months.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

Museum Fund Still $8M Down as Deadline Looms

The San Diego Children's Museum in Downtown's Marina District is nearing the end of its capital campaign of its quest to raise nearly $22 million in funding needed to complete the rebuilding and expansion of the museum.

Construction Journal

Construction Journal

Rockets Fire From a New Unmanned Helicopter

San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. revealed March 2 that it helped an unmanned helicopter system successfully fire unguided rockets.

Let Them Say Their Non-Peace

Let Them Say Their Non-Peace

City of San Diego Vehicle Needs Some Drying Out

City of San Diego Vehicle Needs Some Drying Out

Barrio Logan Gets New Mixed-Use Development

A new urban infill project is being built in the Barrio Logan neighborhood of Downtown San Diego.

Series at USD Focuses on Mitigating Disasters

We are a nation on the edge, at least when it comes to land development and the legalities of disaster-prone and environmentally sensitive areas.

La Jolla's Legacy Bank Still Searching for Leader

It's been nearly a year since Legacy Bank and Doug Sawyer, its former CEO and president, parted ways. The La Jolla-based lender that opened in December 2002 still has yet to find a replacement.

Defusing Disputes

If living creatures are hard-wired to fight or flight when threatened, 21st century bipeds are learning to calm down and compromise. A major player in this growing trend is the San Diego-based National Conflict Resolution Center.

Employers, Employees Overcoming 'Bad' Law

Employers, Employees Overcoming 'Bad' Law

Federal Government Alleges Fraud at Book Distributor

The U.S. Attorney's Office and the SEC announced separate charges against a former executive of Advanced Marketing Services Inc., the San Diego-based book distributor, for alleged fraudulent schemes to inflate AMS' financial results.

Port Firm Inks Deal for Aussie Oranges

Harborside Refrigerated Services has secured a deal with Riversun Export, a Renmark, Australia, exporter, to handle 35,000 tons of navel oranges annually for the next three years at the Port of San Diego.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: Robert Mellott

Pentagon Money Earmarked for San Diego Lab

The Defense Department recently announced plans to pay for big-ticket research equipment at 108 universities and academic institutions including UC San Diego and the Scripps Research Institute.

L.A. REIT to Buy S.D. Tech Center

Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of RREEF to acquire the San Diego Tech Center in Sorrento Mesa, significantly expanding Maguire's presence as a landlord in the coun

Museum Needs Funds To Finish Its Construction

What was once a $100 million proposed project to redevelop the San Diego Children's Museum has become a "complicated situation," according to Pamela Hamilton of the Centre City Development Corp.

Idun Looks Toward Future With Pfizer

Yet another privately held San Diego-based biotechnology company agreed to be gobbled up by a big pharmaceutical company.

Loss of MS Drug May Idle Local Plant

A Biogen Idec Inc. spokesman said it's too early to tell if the company's voluntary withdrawal of its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri will have an effect on the firm's production plant in Oceanside.

Local Company Specializes in Speedy Delivery

Full-service and fast-food restaurants are taking big steps to speed up their service and efficiency.

Week in Review

A survey on condominium conversions in San Diego County found that the vast majority of conversion owners, 82 percent, thought their converted condo was a good value and 97 percent said their converted condo had increased in value since they purchased it.

Governor Appoints Haddad, Reappoints Murray

Benjamin Haddad, 49, of San Diego has been appointed alternate member of the California Coastal Commission by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Chairmen's RoundTable Names New Board Members

The Chairmen's RoundTable, a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides business advice and mentorship free of charge, has appointed new members to its 2005 board of directors.

Firms Can Play Match Game at SBA Expo

Matchmaking may not be a term often used in the business community, but it might soon become commonplace as the U.S. Small Business Administration hosts its SBA Expo '05, where it hopes to present a full day of business matchmaking.

Friday, March 4

More Retail Coming to Chula Vista

A 103,000-square-foot shopping center will be built in Chula Vista to service the residents of Rolling Hills Ranch and San Miguel Ranch. A groundbreaking is anticipated in the fall with an opening in late 2006.

San Diegan May Head Base-Closure Panel

The White House announced March 4 that President Bush intends to nominate Anthony J. Principi to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

National University Endowment Grows By 19.6 Percent

La Jolla-based National University's endowment grew by almost 20 percent in 2004, and continues to rank in the top 200 among endowment sums for colleges and universities in the nation, according to a survey of 741 schools.

Biogen Idec's Problems Mount

After withdrawing its multiple sclerosis drug following the death of a patient in clinical trials, drug makers Biogen Idec and Elan Corp. confirmed today the death of a second patient.

Thursday, March 3

Viejas-Backed Hotel Opens in D.C.

San Diego County's Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, in conjunction with three other Indian tribes and non-tribal partners, officially opened a new, $43 million hotel March 3 in Washington, D.C.

Holiday Bowl Teams Receive $2.08M

The Pacific Life Holiday Bowl made a record payout to the two teams that participated in the December football game at Qualcomm Stadium. The University of California's Golden Bears and Texas Tech University's Red Raiders each received $2.08 million.

Wednesday, March 2

Whirlybird Drone Fires Rockets

San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. revealed March 2 that it helped an unmanned helicopter system successfully fire unguided rockets.

Metroplex Retail Center Sells for $44.3M

One of the largest retail complexes on Miramar Road sold for $44.3 million in a deal announced March 2.

Tuesday, March 1

Titan Settles 'Illicit Payment' Matter

Titan Corp. pleaded guilty to three felony counts and paid $28.5 million in fines and penalties for violating anti-bribery provisions of the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a settlement announced March 1.

Aguirre Accuses Council of Going Its Own Way

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre on March 1 in his latest volley against City Hall accused Mayor Dick Murphy and the City Council of violating the city charter.

Pair Takes Charge of Practice Groups at Sheppard Mullin

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has tapped two San Diegans to be chairmen of their practice groups.

Helicopters Return from Tsunami Relief Effort

Two San Diego-based helicopter squadrons which took part in the Navy's tsunami relief effort arrived at Naval Air Station North Island on March 1.